Paul Robbins Jr.
Candidate for Ketchikan School Board
I am Paul Robbins Jr., and I am running for a 3-year seat on the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board. When I was appointed to the school board in January, I was thrilled to step into another community service role. I’ve served Ketchikan as Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post and as the fund-raising manager of Ketchikan Little League Baseball and Softball. I was appointed by the mayor to the Forest Park Service Area Board earlier this year, and now I’ve served for eight months on the school board.
From my first day on the board, I’ve approached my responsibility with a clear purpose. Our job on the school board is to make decisions that lead to this district providing the highest quality, most equitable education possible. In order to do that, board members must be influenced by three primary sources: parents, teachers and data. We must use the best available information and science, combined with the input of parents, and the expertise of our amazing teachers to inform every decision. Parents are the ultimate authority on what’s best for their children, and education should be driven by the passionate professionals who provide it.
The Smart Start Plan is a great example of the right influences guiding the school board to the best possible outcome. My votes throughout the summer were guided by dozens of emails and hours of testimony by parents, the expressed concerns of teachers throughout the process, and the best available scientific guidance. And now I am thrilled to see our children in school, being taught by our dedicated teachers, with prudent safety measures in place and a robust contingency plan.
Our challenge as this school year continues will be to remain as available and flexible as is needed, in order to help district staff make the necessary adjustments as they inevitably face new challenges in this different learning environment. And communication will be key to our success as well. While we ultimately came to the best possible scenario, and have earned broad support of the final plan, there was no shortage of understandable frustration with the board throughout the process. I plan to continue working with the administration in improving communication, putting my Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations and 19 years of experience in communications to use, to make sure the community gets the transparency it deserves.
We are also poised to make serious strides in supporting our Alaska Native students throughout the District, after a great government to government consultation with Ketchikan Indian Community’s Tribal Council. I learned a lot from that meeting, and our governing bodies set the stage for meaningful collaboration in addressing the needs of Alaska Native students. I believe I can be an important piece in that collaboration, because as I expressed at the meeting, I don’t have the cultural perspective required to come up with solutions to Alaska Native issues. That means I am completely open to the suggestions of those who do have that important perspective, namely the KIC Tribal Council.
It has been my honor to serve you on the school board this year, and with your support, I’d love to continue doing so for years to come. Please vote Paul Robbins Jr. for School Board this October.
Paul Robbins Jr., MPS
"The harder I work, the luckier I get." - Lt. Gen. Victor Krulak (USMC retired)
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